A bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs, typically bay leaf, thyme and parsley, used to flavor soups, stews and other foods. Its name is French for "garnished bouquet."
Sometimes, the cook ties the herbs together with a small bit of string. Other times, she places them all in a bag of muslin or cheesecloth. Keeping the herbs together allows the cook to remove them more easily from the dish when it finishes cooking, preventing unpleasant bites of rough leaves.
Other herbs commonly found in bouquets garnis include basil, tarragon and rosemary. Some chefs even include aromatics, such as carrots and onions, in theirs.